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Filibuster Alito, You Cowards

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Alito is a menace. Friends, this is no time to invoke the Powell Doctrine. Sometimes you have to enter a battle without overwhelming force and without the assurance of victory – that’s what’s known as “courage.” Conservatives are salivating for a reason – Samuel Alito’s succession to the court would render the Bush era permanent. Even those who have quietly abandoned their feckless leader are thrilled that what he stands for will live on in the person of a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

It’s hard to align yourself with, much less love, a party that hasn’t the guts or the sense to fight the one necessary battle. I hope this doesn’t describe the Democrats, whom I otherwise think very highly of. If I am to believe the mainstream media, however, the most courageous statement we’ve yet to hear from a Democratic senator is something along the lines of: “Well, yes, in a remote corner of my mind I’m thinking that I might possibly entertain a tiny little filibuster notion, kind of, except that it would be silly, really, and after all nobody wants to, and that’s a good thing, and anyway I’m busy.”

This battle is everything. If you believe in a tripartite government, in checks and balances… in short: if you are committed to the founders’ wise provisions against an emerging tyranny, then you simply cannot permit this man to sit on the highest court in the land. The New York Times, bless them, has finally acknowledged this. In a negative fashion, and with great subtlety, so has Harvard’s wily Straussian, Harvey Mansfield: read this article to understand some of the thinking behind the administration’s hubris. Mansfield, a theorist suspicious of democracy, has nicely reinterpreted the Framers’ intent to justify a Hobbesian supreme executive. And many of the thinking members of this administration (yes, they quietly exist), were influenced by Mansfield’s mentor, the closet Nietzschean, Leo Strauss.

Mansfield and his school of thought deprecate liberal democracy as inherently weak and potentially self-destructive: in times of war, you want a proud leader who will circumvent the vulgar rule of law in order to act decisively, with cruel Machiavellian virtu. You want a president who is not squeamish about torturing captives, denying habeas corpus, quietly ignoring the quaint fetters placed upon the executive by the masses (read: Congress).

The Straussians, if you’re not familiar with them, stress the necessity of esoteric writing: read this article carefully, with an eye to the hidden “dark teaching.” Andrew Sullivan, who studied with Mansfield, nails the pivotal assertion (without fully taking Mansfield to task for his pernicious intent). With this ill-defined War on Terror, the state of war is now permanent, meaning that the Executive’s unrestricted power to act efficiently is now — if you believe this perverse reading of the Framers — a permanent fact. In short, the United States has become a benevolent tyranny.

(For a nice refutation of this reading — one that concentrates upon Madison’s profound fear of arbitrary powers in a time of war — read John Nichols’ superb article Samuel Alito v. James Madison.)

Alito’s confirmation is an absolutely crucial step in the completion of this new regime. (And a new regime it is; we will have passed out of an era of pure liberal democracy, into something which looks similar, but is in fact horribly different.) Mansfield does not address Alito specifically, but it is clear that the redefinition of the executive requires the Supreme Court to retreat behind a screen of quietism. As the New York Times points out, Samuel Alito’s entire career points towards a strategy of castrating the judicial branch, in favor of a Brave New Presidency. In particular, the tactic of “signing statements” — in which the president is encouraged to take acts of Congress as pleasant advice, rather than binding legal stricture — is Alito’s personal contribution to the decline of a free republic.

I want to call myself a Democrat; I really do. Decency has long pooled almost exclusively in the center; the Republicans have become as vicious and unprincipled as the far left. The problem — and Mansfield’s thesis is unfortunately dead accurate here — is that the vicious and unprincipled tend to be much more effective. I’m not calling for the abandonment of principle, of course; I’m insisting that principle be pursued, now, with ruthless conviction. Filibuster this dangerous man. Just do it. Even if you have become utterly infected by the weeping defeatists — even if you buy the (by no means certain) inevitability of failure — do not go gentle. Everything that we believe in depends upon this. And history demonstrates that many battles fought in this way — in the teeth of almost certain failure, by virtue of the absurd — prove our finest hours.

(Where is the Outrage? Here is the Outrage: Dysblog)

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  • http://journals.aol.com/vicl04/THESAVAGEQUIETSEPTEMBERSUN/ Victor Lana

    You’re absolutely right, Douglas. It’s like the charge of the light brigade these days. Though I am an Independent (in name only because I don’t want to be a Republican or Democrat), I think the only way to salvage anything is for any party to take on the issues and not waffle.

    Tally-ho!

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Sure, this article reads like a bunch of paranoid pinko nonsense, but I must agree with your central conclusion: The Democrats need to go all out to stop Alito. Time to man the barricades.

    Now, I don’t know how Alito will do on the court. He sounds halfway reasonable. He’s certainly not some batty fringe guy.

    But Democrats and lots of liberal types have come completely unhinged, and certainly have no business being put in charge of defending the country- which they apparently have little interest in doing. Going completely batty over this mild professional jurist with nothing bad on his record would be a great way to help make sure they are kept from power for years to come.

    So, Democrats: Do please pull your wee-wees out and start masturbating in public until you blow a big load over your silly dystopian fantasies.

    Meanwhile, the rest of us will be trying to figure out how to take care of business.

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    i’ve gotta hand it to you al. you sure can make a bunch of worn out, bullshit, tired cliches sound halfway entertaining.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Thanks Mark. I’m glad to be able to add a bit of entertainment value to my simple points. As to them being “cliches”: The principal virtue of my remarks was intended to be truth rather than originality.

  • gonzo marx

    oh big Al…time fer yers truly to lay a bit of smack down

    i not only listened to the hearings involving Alito, i read the transcripts afterward, then did some hunting around concernign his resume and previous legal writings

    the guy has a pretty clear record, much of it exemplary

    the troublesome stuff resides in his resume, there is a possible danger of him siding with the Straussian neocons in many primary positions, and this could be a VERY bad thing for a Justice

    i’m not entirely certain how i would vote if i were a senator…but i definately think there is quite a bit of room for debate and discussion here, and that Frist’s decision to ramrod the process down the senate’s throat smacks of politics and agenda rather than doing the Nation’s business for the public good

    so..in the spirit of comment #2…
    “this whole rant from Barger reeks of some crypto-fascist jack boot bullshit so they can expand King Shrub’s dictatorial powers into my phone and computer as well as a women’s womb all with the bullshit excuse of “protecting” the U.S. in some bullshit “war” against a Noun that can never be resolved all in the name of grabbing more power for the same olde greedhead clique

    so, go ahead Pachyderm Phuckers, whip out yer tiny erectile dysfunctional Mr. Happys and use the tweezers to aim that pee onto the Constitution while chortling your unholy glee and standing on the necks of your immigrant housekeepers”

    /end satire

    how’s that?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.djradiohead.com DJRadiohead

    Al will be more entertaining in his assessment bit I am going to wade in here myself…

    The Democrats should get some stones and filibuster Judge Alito if he really is a threat and a Great Satan. Don’t give me any of this shit about the public will think they’re kvetching or might think they are weak if they fail. Fuck that. If he’s bad news, stand up and say he’s bad news. Block the nom. Take the heat for standing for principle. Being ‘right’ or standing up for what’s ‘right’ was never supposed to be easy. Take a stand.

    If he’s not a threat or Lucifer or some such thing, they should shut the fuck up and move on to something else.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    I support a complete filibuster. It’s time for the Democrat Senators to grow a pair of stones and challenge this Administration and this nominee who stands to become the next Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. Strong language? You bet.

    After watching the President at today’s news conference, I realize that this man has more in common with used car salesmen than with governance. There must be a showdown in Congress which brings the Capitol into severe gridlock. This is political war, folks. Congress has no Constitutional provision for calling for a confidence vote. An Alito blockade is the closest thing we’ll get to it.

    Senator McCain, if you’re watching, do yourself a favor and break ranks with the President and your Republican counterparts in Congress. Stand apart and rise above the entire bunch. This is your time to march into the GOP and take back the party for those of us who long for the days when Ronald Reagan made us proud to be Republicans.

    And to my Log Cabin friends, I urge you to break ranks with the GOP leadership. George W. Bush is a lame duck. His influence on this party is on the wane and fast. It’s time for us and other moderate Republicans to fight back and oust the extremists. The extremists can go to political hell and join Pat Buchanan and the Reform Party. I’ve no confidence in the Democrats and strongly believe that we have the where with all to take back the GOP once and for all. This is the time for McCain, Whitman, Weld and Giuliani to step up to the plate. The opportunity for us has arrived. An Alito fiulibuster will send a strong message to both parties and the White House. Americans are mad as hell and just not going to take it any more!

  • Dave Nalle

    the troublesome stuff resides in his resume, there is a possible danger of him siding with the Straussian neocons in many primary positions, and this could be a VERY bad thing for a Justice

    I’ve got to point out that there’s really no one else on the court who’s likely to side with the Neocons on much of anything. 3 members will be actively hostile, 4 are likely to be WTFing at even being asked to rule on Neocon policies and maybe two counting Alito would even entertain backing Neocon policies. I mean, based on their records tell me which justice is besides Alito is going to back executive authoritarianism or expansionist foreign policy? I just don’t see it.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    Too late: the craven Dems are caving. What a bunch of spineless, cowardly, waffling, useless pieces of congressional crap! And the Republicans don’t get away, either: corrupt, power-mad, and willfully, knowingly, maliciously assisting BushCo in overturning & violating the constitution with impunity; they deserve to fry in deepest hell as the traitors to this country that they are.

  • gonzo marx

    to comment #8

    Robertson, Scalia and Thomas..add Alito and they only have to flip 1 vote somewhere

    THAT is what concerns me

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Well, it seems as if Kerry and Kennedy read my post. Or, more likely, they read Al’s hilarious retort: “Meanwhile, the rest of us will be trying to figure out how to take care of business.” Those are the most humorous words I’ve heard in an age. By “taking care of business,” Al, were you referring to Abramoff? Delay, perhaps? The tanking of Ford Motors? Or perhaps you were referring to that war you’re busy losing, while Osama taunts you from the country you failed to secure?

    The notion of Republicans “taking care of business” is enough to scare any decent citizen into action.

    Meanwhile, this “mild professional jurist” is about to insure that business is taken care of as usual, for a long time. It’s true that Alito doesn’t foam like Bork or rant like Scalia, or brood in poisonous silence like Thomas — he does have a nice milquetoast demeanor — but this makes his extremism that much more dangerous. Alito is the sort of judge (unlike Thomas or Scalia) who can *convince others* to vote with him. Not that he’ll have to work that hard on Roberts, Thomas, or Scalia; but all it takes is one convert on a crucial case.

    Al, I agree: Democrats “have no business being put in charge of defending the country” if they can’t see the threat posed by Alito. And if Democrats aren’t put in charge of defending the country, that leaves us with chest-thumping chickenhawks (not you, I imagine — you’re logged in from Iraq, right?) — with the collective strategic wisdom of a gnat.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    (Sorry, I meant “DeLay,” not “Delay” — although the latter word works nicely if we’re talking about the response to Katrina.)

  • Bing

    The only hypocrisy I see here is coming from the left. Democrats had no problem when Ginsberg refused to answer questions but now that it’s Alito they want to filibuster.

    The bottom line is that if a nominee is pro life the Dems will not vote for him and do everything they can to assissinate his character.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    The bottom line is that if a nominee is pro life the Dems will not vote for him and do everything they can to assissinate his character.

    Oh come on now. The extreme right uses similar tactics of hate to crush the Left. This is NOT a one-sided thing. The far Right wants to reverse the actions of the Liberal Earl Warren-era SCOTUS. What’s most frightening to me is that the intelligence quotients of those constituents who have elected many of these extremists is at the lower end of the scale. Call me bigoted. Call me racist. But the facts are there. To educate is to liberate. As long as the far Right continues to hold education back, we are better off to home school our children.

    I don’t necessarily believe that Alito is too far Right to be on the nation’s highest court. I’m also on record as saying that Chief Justice Roberts is far more moderate than he has been depicted. Besides, I have respect for a man who poses with other men and food for photographs. Never mind, I’m digressing. What we must insure is that the Supreme Court is comprised of the most brilliant jurists we can muster. They must hold true to a strict interpretation of the law leaving personal religious and political views out of it. A filibuster against Alito is more of a political statement against the current regime and its blatant misuse of Presidential authority. Sometimes a sacrifice has to be made for the common good.

  • Bing

    You said the extreme right uses similiar tactics to crush the left Silas?

    So how many GOP Senators tried to filibuster or even vote against Ginsberg? How many of them attacked her character with baseless implications?

    The answer is 0. She was approved 98-0. The same goes for Bryer. The GOP didn’t assinate his character like the Dems did to Robert Bork. So your statement that the right uses the same tactics as far as Supreme Court nominees is absolute horseshit.

    HOw is the right holding education back when it is the left who rails against vouchers and continues to throw money into a incompetent public school system?

    A filibuster today by the Dems is an attempt to make a last attempt to appease the far left radicals that the Dem party is beholden to.

  • gonzo marx

    well Bing..instead the GOP uses much more insidious tactics…

    under Clinton, 247 federal judge appointees NEVER even made it to committee, much less a full vote…why?..the olde blackball trick…Senators used to be able to reject candidates from their home state anonymously and without ANY discussion even in the committee

    what was the first thing changed when the GOP took over the senate? that very same “rule” which had been in place for quite a long time

    NEVER believe me…go and look it up yourself

    similar tactics have been in use rampantly by the GOP since ’94…see Newt’s book “the Republican Revoloution” for the blueprints…read Strauss and find out more about the neocon’s Agenda (including the PNAC and their signatories like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perls, Libby, Kristol, Krauthammer and more)

    after yer done there, THEN come back and talk to me about pulling bullshit

    k?

    tnx

    buh-bye

    Excelsior!

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Bing, we’ll never agree because you refuse to acknowledge that the far Right is just as guilty as the Left for unfair tactics. This isn’t just about SCOTUS. The far Right has systematically maligned the Left since Bill Clinton “usurped” the White House. The era of cooperation and bipartisanship that was thriving for a part of the Reagan years is history. Congress is impotent amidst all the political wrangling. The business of the people has been eclipsed by the thirst for power by all sides of the aisle. There must come a time when Congress and the Presidency faces the will and interest of the people rather than the corporate special interests. The Republicans in power care nothing for the poor and disenfranchised. The Democrats are busy being so envious that they’ve forgotten the basic principles of the party. Neither major political party serves America.

    I admire your loyalty to the GOP, bing. In that same light I must remind you that I, too, was a Republican for most of my adult life. It was George W. Bush and the current power brokers in Congress who have driven me from the Party of Lincoln. Therein lies my mistake. I never should have dropped the ball and walked away. I am a Republican. I am a male homosexual Republican. I am proud to be in the party of Lincoln and as such I will work my damnedest for the next two years to bring the Grand Old Party back to the place it belongs — the hands of the people.

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Monsieur Cooper, you’re kinda wasting a great creative imagination on a simple opinion post, and particularly comment 11. You ought to be making a screenplay or something out of this crazed hysteria.

    This stuff about how Thomas likes to “brood in poisonous silence.” You know you’re just making that up absolutely wholecloth, don’t you? Expand on that. You could create a really interesting (fictional) jurist spinning off from this.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    It’s astonishing the amount of misinformation floating around about the Ginsburg confirmation process. First, she was *not* approved 98-0. Three senators voted against her: Jesse Helms, Bob Smith, and Don Nichols.

    Certainly, it was not a controversial nomination… and *why*? Because the president bent over backwards to get advice and consent from both sides of the aisle. Ginsburg was approved by crucial Republicans (including Orrin Hatch) *before* she was nominated — she was not an extreme, unpopular candidate foisted upon them out of the blue.

    And Ginsburg ended up neither extreme, nor unpopular: she was in fact precisely what the court requires — a brilliant, non-aligned, thoughtful, unpredictable swing voter. (I still entertain hopes that Roberts will prove one of these. Alito — sorry. Too many hard-right Republicans, who know him well, are positively orgasmic over his nomination.)

    For a balanced account of the Ginsburg nomination, this article by Ruth Marcus in WaPo is good: The Ginsburg Fallacy.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Oh, and Al: Thomas *is* silent. He almost never speaks when the court is in session (and has offered a lame biographical explanation for this… some kind of victim complex from his youth, which doesn’t really suit him, being — you know — the country’s most prominent rightwing beneficiary of affirmative action).

  • Howard

    Liberals should stop whining.

    If they want to control who is nominated to the Supreme Court, they should nominate the right presidential candidates.

    The fact that they could not come up with someone to beat a tenderfoot like George Bush shows they want what they don’t deserve.

  • gonzo marx

    Howard sez…
    *The fact that they could not come up with someone to beat a tenderfoot like George Bush shows they want what they don’t deserve.*

    now this shows the commenter has no fucking clue…

    one does not beat the candidate, one beats the political machine and strategist that the candidates money backs

    in this case…Rove

    Howard sez…
    *Liberals should stop whining.*

    and crypto-fascist pigfuckers shoudl drink bleach

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • Howard

    It’t too bad gonzo can’t write a cogent reply.

    You don’t need brains to rant like an idiot.

  • gonzo marx

    heh..you wanted a cogent reply to the pitiful rhetoric that spewed forth from your keyboard?

    no problem…try to sharpen your readin gcomprehension skills and tell me who said this…

    *one does not beat the candidate, one beats the political machine and strategist that the candidates money backs

    in this case…Rove*

    that is not only cogent, but comprehensive and cohesive in response to the tiny bit of prose that was almost worthwhile form comment #21

    thank you for playing, please try again

    Excelsior!

  • Howard

    Is a poor excuse better then none?

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    Yeah Douglas, so Thomas doesn’t say a lot in court. You jump all the way from there to “brood in poisonous silence.”

    You don’t actually make any significant bit even of a try at an argument about Alito. I don’t mind a couple of colorful adjectives, but you’re doing absolutely nothing but calling names. “Hard-right” Republicans. What does that even mean?

    Oh, so Ginsburg had three votes against her rather than two. Fine. But you’re jumping from that moment of Republican niceness to say that she wasn’t controversial. She would appear to have been much more ideologically committed and questionable than Alito, from whom I’ve seen little sign of any ideological interests.

    Thing is, you’re judging backwards. If a handful of radical fools go into hysterics against a Republican appointee, then they are an “extreme, unpopular candidate.” No, 10% of the rabble volunteering to be whipped up into a frenzy over absolutely nothing does not prove anything about the candidate. Nor does it mean that he’s unpopular.

    And calling Ginsburg an unpredictable, non-ideological swing voter doesn’t seem to go with her actual jurisprudence, which sure looks like a died-in-the-wool liberal- exactly as Clinton had intended.

    That’s cool. Clinton got elected, and he picked someone that would be likely to vote the direction that his people prefer. I don’t think she’s any good from anything I know of her, but the people chose him.

    Whereas, George Bush has been elected twice, and he gets to choose the nominee. Having childish tantrums against anyone that he picks with no evidence or justification doesn’t convince anyone. It’s only going to discredit the left wingnuts even more.

    Do you have any idea how deep a hole you’ve dug yourselves with nonsense like this? Bush is a mediocre politician, and the Republican Congress is just awful. Like much of America, I’d dearly love to slap the taste out Tom Delay’s mouth, but not at the expense of turning the joint over to Ted Kennedy or John Kerry.

    To put it differently, your liberal hysterics are so bad that they start making Tom Delay look not-quite-so-bad.

    But hey, you’re right and the American people support you. So y’all go right ahead and hold your breath till your faces turn blue, and see what it gets you in November.

  • Howard

    If “one does not beat the candidate, one beats the political machine and strategist that the candidates money backs”,

    then,

    the fact that they could not come up with someone to beat the political machine and its strategist shows they want what they don’t deserve.

    Q.E.D.

  • Howard

    P.S. Alito will be confirmed.

    The people have spoken.

  • gonzo marx

    big Al sez…
    *Having childish tantrums against anyone that he picks with no evidence or justification doesn’t convince anyone.*

    umm..they passed Roberts, yes?

    as a matter of fact, the whoel bit with Roberts went pretty well according to all concerned…he appears to be a very intelligent and thoughtful person, who expressed his judicial philosophy quite well

    soOOoooOOooo please shut the fuck up with the explosive rhetoric about “anyone” and modify it to “this one” or something more accurate

    is memory that short or just that convenient?

    for comment #27
    decent point…they lost, and now have to deal with it…and are doing so..ineptly..

    in comment #28 Howard sez…
    *The people have spoken.*

    blatantly innaccurate…the “people” have said shit about it for the most part…the vast majority couldn’t pick Alito out of a police line up

    the GOP majority in the senate has spoken as their masters told them to

    which is how it works at this point in history

    but it also is completely normal for the “opposition” gang to throw screaming hissy fits like maladjusted schoolgirls, and those in “power” to gloat and crow underservingly as their “gang” struts

    i just can’t help but remember recent history, when the shoe was on the other foot

    remember, i am an Independant and belong to neither “gang”

    but i do know that when it was reversed…the Dems were much more….polite…than the current thugs

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    Having childish tantrums against anyone that he picks with no evidence or justification doesn’t convince anyone. It’s only going to discredit the left wingnuts even more.

    so all of the conservative pundits who had ‘childish tantrums’ with regard to harriet miers….does that ‘discredit’ them? face it, there was a litmus test for miers and she didn’t pass it.

    good gawd, i think the echo chamber has made everybody deaf.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    And if Democrats aren’t put in charge of defending the country, that leaves us with chest-thumping chickenhawks (not you, I imagine — you’re logged in from Iraq, right?)

    Nice cheap shot. For all you know he’s 90 years old and in a wheelchair, but by all means call him names and denigrate his patriotism to cover the fact that you’ve sold your soul to a failed ideology of exploitation and oppression.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    as opposed to selling out your libertarian principles for a fistful of silver?

    but i digress…

    Excelsior!

  • Howard

    “but i do know that when it was reversed…the Dems were much more….polite…than the current thugs”

    Are you talking about Kennedy and the Demorats “borking” Bork?

  • gonzo marx

    have you read Borks legal writings?

    come back when you have and then you can try and defend some of his positions

    as i stated earlier, BOTH gangs have fucked up many times over

    progress will begin when you admit that to yourself in all honesty

    then one can begin working to fix the problems, rather than empty bickering over “colors”

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Gonzo, Libertarian principles value a fistful of silver quite highly. They’re by no means incompatible.

    Dave

  • gonzo marx

    never said they were…

    my Point is that some folks appear to have sold out certain tenets of their avowed principles for tax cuts and empty promises

    some folks seem to justify their looking the other way over many Issues (fiscal responsibility, 4th Amendment violations, pre-emptive wars…and more) for sweetheart deals, tax cuts and empty promises of impossible “safety”…

    merely an Observation…

    but when someone says things like …
    *the fact that you’ve sold your soul to a failed ideology of exploitation and oppression.*

    i tend to react to the fact that the other “gang” can easily be broad brushed into the callous, greed filled, corrupt amoral , shortsighted fascist bastards that in Reality only a percentage of them are

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Dave, “cheap shot”? *Cheap shot?* From a party that specializes in veteran bashing? (Kerry, Murtha…) There *is* no shot too cheap for today’s chickenhawks. If Al is indeed out there risking his ass for his beliefs, I’m serious: I support him 100%. If he’s a veteran, then he also earns the right to support this inept war. If he’s yet another combat dodger, like the Commander in Chief, or another species of chickenhawk, like *virtually every single senior member of this administration*, then no — I’m not particularly interested in his blather about keeping the country safe.

    There’s an amusing deck of cards for sale, by the way, detailing the various combat-avoidance strategies of our fearless leaders:

    The Deck of Republican Chickenhawks

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    (Interesting quotation — hilarious — from the card featuring Tom DeLay, on why he did not serve in Vietnam: “So many minority youths had volunteered, that there was literally no room
    for patriotic folks like myself.”)

    (Just fact-checked this, by the way: yeah, he said it.)

  • gonzo marx

    dragging this Thread back on Topic…

    here is a transcript of Senator Kerry’s speech yesterday on the floor of the senate about Alito

    i might suggest paying attention to some of the quotes concerning Alito’s past judicial writings

    the one about deadly force, or some of the search and seizure stuff makes for cmopelling research and pondering

    just wanted to share

    Excelsior!

  • troll

    Hey Bing and Al – concerning your Ginsberg ‘argument’…try to guess who stated that he suggested her name to Clinton

    I have to hatchet some sheep and will check your answer later

    troll

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Douglas, we live in a free country with an all-volunteer military. Serving or not serving in the military does not make one any more or less qualified to hold an opinion about our national policies. All it takes is being a citizen who is impacted by those policies.

    Your attempt to disenfranchise those who have not served in the military is a cheap and manipulative tactic which the extreme left loves to use, but which is an insult to those who have fought to preserve the right of ALL Americans to have and freely express their opinions without being insulted and denigrated unfairly.

    When the chickenhawk insults start coming out it’s a clear sign that you can’t win an argument on merit and are just resorting to trying to insult your opponents into silence. It’s cheap and despicable.

    Dave

  • Howard

    “Serving or not serving in the military does not make one any more or less qualified to hold an ‘opinion about our national policies”.

    Not so.

    Serving or not serving in the military should make one less qualified to hold an opinion about our national policies if one does the utmost to evade service when one’s country calls and one avoids service because of cowardice.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Howard, what qualifies you to judge the difference between cowardice, principled opposition to war, and just not being particularly interested or qualified in the military as a career?

    Let me give you a hint – you’re not qualified to make that judgement. It’s something every person has to do for themselves and which no one should be blamed for.

    Dave

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Nice try, Dave. During Vietnam, America pointedly did *not* have an “all-volunteer military.” When DeLay, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Perle, Lott, and Ted Nugent wormed their way out of combat, they were *dodging*. Period. Not simply failing to sign up, but actively insuring that they did not catch a bullet, and that some poor schmuck caught one in their place. Cheney, with his *four deferments*, makes me ill.

    Now, I would have done everything in my power to avoid serving in Vietnam. Everything. Luckily, I was born in Canada — I didn’t have to run there. The difference between me and all of the above, is that I’m not a saber-rattling bloodthirsty warmonger.

    If you’re a cheerleader for the massacre of young soldiers and innocent civilians in an absolutely unnecessary war, then having dodged combat yourself makes you a murderous hypocrite. And if you then go on to swiftboat war heroes, you’re the lowest of the very low.

    Now, back to the topic at hand. Funny how an actual war hero was the first to have the guts to filibuster Alito, in the face of almost certain failure.

    That’s the nice thing about courage: it’s universally applicable.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    I find it hard to believe you’re so ignorant that you can’t tell the difference between the war in Vietnam and the war in Iraq and between 2006 and 1966.

    But then you think the war in Iraq is about the ‘massacre of young soldiers and innocent civilians’, so you’re so poorly informed about world events that I guess you’re disqualified from actually holding an opinion that anyone should take seriously.

    Dave

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Look, I don’t want to veer again off-topic to address yet another of your tangential concerns, but let me say this: I was for this war, before I was against it. Based on presidential lies, I did in fact believe it a necessary and just war. Now that we know that it was entered into on false pretenses, and that it has *radically exacerbated the problem of world terrorism*, then yes: three thousand dead Americans is a minor massacre. And thirty thousand dead Iraqi civilians counts as a slaughter.

    Now, how about that Alito filibuster. Hillary’s on board. Funny how leaders who are actually courageous inspire others to fall into line (often through shame).

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Oddly, if you substitute the word ‘opportunistic’ for ‘courageous’ in your last paragraph it actually starts to make sense.

    Dave

  • troll

    Dave…concerning #45 – while I understand that the chickenhawk argument drives you up the wall (and I agree with you that it’s an absurd attack) there’s no reason for you to resort to personal insults

    with a wink I say ‘bite me’

    troll

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Not to worry: I didn’t consider it a personal assault. Dave suggested I was ignorant; I proved him factually incorrect. All in a day’s work.

    As for the chickenhawk argument driving him up the wall: no doubt. It should. Here we have an administration that is little more than a free-range poultry farm, and Dave’s called upon to defend it. *Every single one* of Farmer Bush’s hawks avoided combat. Every one of them. I repeat: all of them. Not an actual veteran in the bunch. The only one who can claim to have signed up to go to the front is Rumsfeld — and he conveniently lolled about Princeton (in uniform, sure) until just after the Korean War ended.

    I put it to you that it is *this* that drives you up the wall: through no fault of your own, you’re a shill for pack of bloodthirsty cowards.

    Worse: cowards who shit on heroes. Too timid to fight? No prob: hire a boatful of sleazeballs to tell the world that Kerry didn’t deserve his medals; that McCain is anti-veteran; that Murtha is a pantywaist.

    These people are despicable.

  • lumpy

    all those chickenhawk neocons have never tried to silence their opponents by calling them names and questioning their patriotism as the left constantly does with this chickenhawk argument.

    who is worse? someone who never served or someone who betrays the oath they took when they served by turning against their country and basic values the country is founded on?

  • gonzo marx

    lumpy..see the “swiftboat” shit, or even those who rail against Murtha

    you can also check your history abou a certain triple amputee veteran in Georgia who was shit upon by the GOP machine

    as for any kind of “betrayal of oath”…i DO think that such a betrayal is despicable

    but i do NOT think speaking you mind on Principle is such a betrayal…i DO think that bypassing a Court and the Law to expand Presidential Powers into violating the Constitution IS an evil betrayal of the Oath of Office

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Am I the only one laughing at this?

    Douglas Anthony Cooper: “When DeLay, Bush, Cheney, Wolfowitz, Ashcroft, Perle, Lott, and Ted Nugent wormed their way out of combat…

    ♫ One of these is not like the others ♫ One of these just doesn’t belong ♫

  • gonzo marx

    it got a chuckle out of me…but it is factually correct

    but i digress…

    ..:::waves to Suss:::..

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    (Glad somebody caught it. “The Nug,” foaming rightwing nutbar, faked insanity to avoid fighting in Nam. This from Ted Nugent’s official Chickenhawk Card: “Citizen Nugent showed up at the induction board in a state of filth after defecating and urinating in his clothes for several days. Of course it stands to reason that Ted is a vocal proponent of every U.S. military action since.”)

    Another good reference site, by the way, is Chicken Hawk Headquarters. In case you think that there might be *somebody* in this administration who doesn’t merit that title.

    Now, back to Alito. Nice to see a slandered war hero leading the assault. Wouldn’t it be lovely if Kerry *won*?

  • Dave Nalle

    So Ted Nugent isn’t permitted to change his mind about things over the course of 30 years? You can’t make a mistake in America and not be able to reconsider it somewhere down the line? Why does the person Nugent was in 1970 negate the person he is today?

    Plus, let’s talk specifically about Vietnam. Is it EXACTLY like every war we’ve fought since then? Do you think maybe there might be something about that particular clusterfuck which caused people not to support it who might support other more sensible wars?

    If you don’t see these basic truths, then you – like so many others – are just using the ‘chickenhawk’ bullshit as a cheap trick to shut up people you don’t agree with.

    Dave

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    The Nug may have many things to change — a mind isn’t one of them.

    The reason these people don’t count as principled guys who just happened to change their minds, is that *none of them spoke out against Vietnam.* It’s not that they disagreed with that war; they just didn’t particularly want to fight in it.

    And you can bet that if they were eighteen now, none of them would be signing up for Iraq.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    I like the idea of “signing statements” and selective enforcement. The Congress is suffocating this country with way too many goddamn laws.

    And if the fucking Democrats filibuster Alito, I hope the Republicans will not hesitate to exercise a thermonuclear option.

  • gonzo marx

    Richard sez…
    *I like the idea of “signing statements” and selective enforcement. The Congress is suffocating this country with way too many goddamn laws.*

    now here we go, someone not afraid to say they don’t like the Rule of Law and thinks the Shrub shoudl just be crowned “King” and allowed to treat the Congress as a “suggestion” rather than a check and balance, or even the voice of the people

    refreshing to hear some dittohead come out and admit it

    i can at least Respect the honesty

    Excelsior!

  • Howard

    “Serving or not serving in the military should make one less qualified to hold an opinion about our national policies if one does the utmost to evade service when one’s country calls and one avoids service because of cowardice.”

    Dave, what qualifies anyone “to judge the difference between cowardice, principled opposition to war, and just not being particularly interested or qualified in the military as a career“, should be obvious.

    If a person acts like a coward, runs away like a coward, evades like a coward, avoids like a coward, makes declarations like a coward, and gives other appearances of being a coward, the person is most likely a coward.

    Just circumstantial evidence I admit, but pretty conclusive.

  • Dave Nalle

    Sure, Howard, but not wanting to go to Vietnam doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you someone with good sense.

    Dave

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    conversely, if someone acts like a bully, they are often nothing more than a coward as well.

  • http://www.richardbrodie.com/ Richard Brodie

    now here we go, someone not afraid to say they don’t like the Rule of Law

    How many Democrat open-border advocates care whether the “Shrub” ignores enforcing our IMMIGRATION laws! Talk about selective outrage.

    So we have illegal immigrants allowed, nay even encouraged, to break American law so that THEY can “have a better life”. But let a young American try to make some kind of life for himself by bootstrapping himself into the construction business – for which he doesn’t have the financial ability to set himself up from the start with all the apparati of state contractors licenses, federal OSHA compliance, local business licenses, withholding for workman’s compensation, etc. ad infinitum – and he will be hunted down, fined, jailed, and put out of business by various enforcement agencies.

    Law makers at EVERY LEVEL of government are totally out of control.

  • gonzo marx

    and here we have some agreement…

    Richard…i am at least as outraged as you are about border security…i think that illegal Immigration is one of the major problems in our Nation today…both from a labor standpoint as well as Security concerns…add to that the encouragement of lawbreaking and you have a severe mess

    as i have stated previously…you want to stop illegal Immigration it’s simple..

    enforce the Laws against businesses who hire them, make the fine for hiring an illegal worker the SAME as it is for seeing Janet Jackson’s boob…$525,000 per incident

    remove the jobs, and the flow of illegals will dwindle significantly

    but you are engaging in distraction a bit here, the subject was those signatory comment that Bush has been adding to Laws passed…my complaint there is that the President’s duties and obligations here are quite clear, and as the holder of our highest elected office it ishis Responsibility to “uphold and defend the Constitution” as he has sworn to do

    to add those signatory comments, implying selective usage of the Laws he signs, this indicates him considering the office of the Presidency to be above the Law as set by Congress

    a clear Violation of his Oath

    and THAT is a major problem

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Hm. As a guy currently in Mexico, I have to respectfully disagree. Illegal immigration is like alcohol: prohibition simply makes it worse. This is in fact the *only* area in which I’m sympathetic to Bush: he has the right attitude towards Mexico. Not that he’s followed through with any of his promises towards this country (they’re beginning to loathe him down here): but he’s surprisingly civilized in his approach to his neighbors.

    America is a country of immigrants. And Vicente Fox is right: Mexicans are currently doing a lot of the jobs that nobody in America is willing to do.

    Make them legal; make them respected foreign nationals; have them pay taxes, and — if you really want to keep them from crossing an unprotectable border — help put the Mexican economy in shape, so that they can make a decent living back home.

    A tall order, yes. But the alternative — xenophobia — will accomplish nothing, and is bad for the soul of the nation.

    And this ties in to the Alito nomination: he is notoriously unsympathetic to outsiders, including those claiming political refugee status. (Amazing from an Italian-American — if his type had run the nation back in the day, his family would still be scraping out a living in Calabria.)

  • gonzo marx

    decent points, Douglas…

    perhjaps i was unclear..it is NOT immigration i object to, but illegal immigration for many reasons…some of which i commented on above

    i stand by my assertation that much of it woudl cease if the Law was properly enforced against those hiring the illegal aliens

    now, do i think that immigration practices can be updated and corrected to deal with much of the problem…of course

    but that doesn’t change the unassailable Fact that the ONLLY way i see to even begin to stem the tide is to enforce the Laws applicable to hiring these folks in the first place

    as for the old canard that “they do the jobs nobody else want”…might i just say …bullshit

    in fact, over and over agian, you see that the artificial downward pressure on wages in many of these jobs is directly proportional to having illegals take said jobs at cut rates from legal workers..

    example: in the southwest you find many construction crews made up of mostly illegal workers…who find 5-8 dollars an hour a great wage…but whicn in the free market among legal workers would fetch 8-20 an hour

    the wages are kept artificially low, and perpetuate the syndrome as contractors find they have to compete with those that use illegal labor for contracts

    remove the illegals form the equation and you find the market pricing labor more accurately

    it’s nto like the contractors are passing these “savings” along to their customers, they are pocketing the profits…and not paying the taxes or health insurance for those illegal workers which then puts hideous strains on local resources

    on and on

    i do hope this helps explain my thoughts..

    Excelsior!

  • Howard

    Dave claims, “not wanting to go to Vietnam doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you someone with good sense.”

    Not so.

    It makes you a coward because someone without the proper connections or an educational deferment had to go in your place.

    Douglas claims, Alito is unsympathetic to illegal immigration.

    Yes, and he should be.

    Because it is against the law and that is what he is sworn to protect, not some social agenda.

    Under the law at the time, his family would have been allowed to enter the country legally.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    It not so much that he’s unsympathetic to illegal immigration — I agree with you; it’s up to Congress to change the laws — it’s that he’s unsympathetic to *refugees*. Which to me suggests an ugly tenor of mind. It’s the principle of hospitality: even when Alito is able to exercise that virtue within the bounds of the law, he chooses not to.

    And again: his very presence in the country is predicated upon that fundamental decency.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    (er, “It’s not so much…)

  • Lumpy

    I chose not to step in front of a bus today. I’m such a coward!

    I wonder if you people realize how idiotic you sound.

    Self preservation is not cowardice and the fault for the draft lies with the gofernment that enacted it, not those who avoided it since they only had the power to spare themselves.

  • The Management

    Dave, Lumpen, Lumpy:

    Please restrict yourself to one personality per thread.

    Thanks,

    The Management

  • Howard

    “I chose not to step in front of a bus today. I’m such a coward”?

    Yes, because you pushed someone else into the path of the bus to avoid it.

    I wonder if you realize how idiotic you sound.

    Self preservation is cowardice when someone else has to take your place.

    The fault is on the shoulders of those who avoided danger when their only motive was to spare themselves.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Almost kinda amusing troll. When did you become ‘the management’. Plus I’m only posting under one personna, while it appears you’re now posting under two.

    As to the Chickenhawk discussion, it’s even stupider than the original post. But it has achieved exactly what it always does – it’s killed the thread and stifled the open exchange of ideas.

    Dave

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Hm. Thread seems to be doing rather well, actually.

    And if anything we’re seeing *too many* ideas — might be nice to focus on Alito.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    That’s what I mean, DAC. The ideas you’re seeing no longer have anything to do with the Alito issue. Time to move on.

    Dave

  • sr

    As long as the lib, pro abortionist, alfalfa brained type are TWEAKED concerning Alito, who cares. For certain he will be confirmed. I’ll sleep great. For the rest of you tweaked lib’s, just hold hands and sing Gumbuya. Your comments welcomed. Like I give a tater tot. Thank God you still have Kennedy, Kerry and Hildabeast. G-day

  • Paul

    Whenever the Supreme Court is mentioned, it all hinges on one topic, and that is Roe v Wade. If Alito is confirmed then the decision might be overturned. Abortion will not be made illegal, it just means that it will go back to states to decide and be voted on by the people of each state on a case by case basis…hmmmmm the people actually deciding.

    Darth Vader Ginsberg spews forth liberal venom, but did the right filibuster or complain when she didn’t answer a damn question?

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    it just means that it will go back to states to decide and be voted on by the people of each state on a case by case basis…hmmmmm the people actually deciding.

    That would be pretty chilling to me, if I were a woman, to have decisions regarding my own body taken from me and put to a majority vote. Do you want to give birth…wait it’s not your decision anymore, let the mob vote on it.

    Ginsberg spews forth liberal venom, but did the right filibuster or complain when she didn’t answer a damn question?

    don’t recall, but if not, they are obviously kicking themselves in the ass now and trying to make amends for it by putting ideological extremists in power in every branch of the goverment.

  • Dave Nalle

    Get real. Alito’s not going to overturn Roe all by himself, with him on the court at best they can get it to a 4-5 vote and Roe gets upheld.

    Dave

  • MCH

    “Sure, Howard, but not wanting to go to Vietnam doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you someone with good sense.”

    Once again you’ve pissed on the graves of those 58,000 courageous men who were killed in ‘Nam, and scoffed at the sacrifices of another 304,000 who were wounded in combat there…by advocating the draft-dodging War Wimps (Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, John Ashcroft, Paul Wolfowitz, Rush Limbaugh, et al) who bought their way out of serving their country during time of war.

  • Justin Berry

    Hello all just catching up.

    As to the original post the democrats dont have the votes for a filibuster. Bush will serve the purpose for which he was elected. That being to serve the interests of the Conserative Christians. If you dont agree with that and you feel the majority of the country doesnt agree, you should talk them into voting.

    Did I really read in comment #19:
    ” Ginsburg ended up neither extreme, nor unpopular: she was in fact precisely what the court requires — a brilliant, non-aligned, thoughtful, unpredictable swing voter. “?

    Am I really supposed to take anything else you may say seriously?

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    He may have pissed on their graves, but you sir shook off the last few drops by leaving Ted Nugent off your list.

  • Justin Berry

    Yes, you left Nugent off.

    You also forgot to list jane fonda and a few more Celebrities.Although the left can claim the great war hero mikey moore as one of their figureheads.

  • gonzo marx

    Justin sez…
    *Bush will serve the purpose for which he was elected. That being to serve the interests of the Conserative Christians.*

    and here i had thought the purpose was to “defend and uphold the Constitution of the United States”?

    so, which is it?

    and after the quoted statement, how are we supposed to take anything YOU say seriously?

    dangerous times, folks

    Excelsior!

  • Nancy

    But the Right will always be saddled with one of the all-time greats: Senator Joseph McCarthy. The Right will never live him down.

  • Justin Berry

    Gonzo you and I both know that no administration will abandon the agenda of their constituents for anything. As they say ” dance with the one that brung ya”.

    Saddled with mccarthy? true.
    Embrace mccarthy the way the left embraces fonda,moore? false.

  • Nancy

    BTW, a propos of neither side, has anyone else heard the radio ads of Lyndon LaRouche? Normally I just shrug him off, but I have to admit I really like it when he gets fired up & accuses both sides of congress of being cowardly and lazy! You go, Lyndie!

  • Justin Berry

    No, I dont listen to Larouche. I also tend to change the station when any host goes on a rant about either side, as they tend to lose objectivity. Most of the talk show hosts claim to have open and honest communications but if someone calls in with an opposing view point they interrupt, talk over, label them and hang-up.

    Micheal Savage is one of the worst.

  • Nancy

    LaRouche is a nutcase, but on this rare occasion, when he started lambasting congress, it got my attention and my approval, even if I didn’t agree on why. It just felt good to hear someone – anyone – use language that blunt when addressing congress in public on the radio.

  • Justin Berry

    That is true but from what Ive seen, politicians dont tend to acknowledge challenges from radio hosts. Which is sad because I believe there are a lot of voters to be reached by interaction. The politicians who do appear on the shows pay lip service and forget before they leave the studio or hang up the phone.

  • MCH

    “You also forgot to list jane fonda and a few more Celebrities.Although the left can claim the great war hero mikey moore as one of their figureheads.”

    Different list altogether, since jane fonda and mikey moore don’t advocate sending others overseas to risk life and limb, fighting their battles for them.

  • Nancy

    Politicians don’t even acknowledge challenges from people in their actual physical presence; witness Fearless Leader Dubya Bush, who conveniently ignores any question not already pre-answered for him by his staff during press conferences. Why anybody bothers to go or ask is beyond me, since he never responds.

  • Justin Berry

    Neither are veterans MCH, doesnt that automatically negate any comment they could make?
    Both of them are of age to have been eligible for Vietnam how did they get out of service?
    While they dont advocate sending anyone to war they sure seem to enjoy the fruits of others blood, sweat, and tears.

    Who should be entitled to make the decision to go to war? Are we to be limited to only the choice of veterans or pacifists for Commander in chief?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    MCH likes veterans a lot. He just doesn’t have equal respect for the active duty military who are currently risking their lives, running the war in Iraq, and overwhelmingly in support of it. Their opinions have no value to him at all. Your opinion only counts if you’re a veteran who’s turned against the miitary.

    Dave

  • MCH

    Re comment #93;

    This coming from the same guy who equates traffic fatalities to being killed in combat…

  • Howard

    “active duty military who are currently risking their lives, running the war in Iraq, and overwhelmingly in support of it.’

    Active duty military are not in a position to discredit what the military is doing. Their sole responsibility is to obey the commander-in-chief.

    Veterans are in a better position to judge our political actions.

    Is there a consensus among veterans as to what they think about preemptive wars?

    Has there been a scientific poll?

    Most I know agree with me.

  • http://filibuster larry

    i am not sure, does a filibuster reqire that a senator keep talking while he has the the floor? the movie mr. deeds goes to washington, depicts that. apparently Senator Byrd was very good at filibustering.reading any literature . Lyndon LaRouche . is he still around? didnt he spend some time in the joint? lary

  • MCH

    “Is there a consensus among veterans as to what they think about preemptive wars?”

    Check out web sites these web sites:
    **Veterans Against the Iraq War at http://www.vaiw.org/vet
    …and…
    **Iraq Veterans Against the War at http://www.ivaw.net/

    – MCH, USN ’70-74
    “Support the troops, oppose the policy.”

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Okay, this thread is finally veering into Lalaland. While the chicken hawk argument remains tangential, it is of course valid and important (and without anything close to a refutation from Dave); but *Lyndon LaRouche* does not deserve a moment’s serious consideration. He is the archetypal American Loon: hovering somewhere between silly and dangerous — and a strong case has been made that he is quite literally a fascist.

    Back to Alito: the first Republican breaks ranks. Things are getting interesting indeed.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Interesting. This comment was censored when I first tried to publish it. Seems the term “chicken hawk” no longer gets past the gate — it’s deemed a “personal attack” — even when not directed at anyone. In short, you’re no longer allowed to make that important argument on BlogCritics. I only got around this by separating the word into two parts — chicken and hawk — if you put them together, you will be automatically censored.

    Disgusting.

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Actually, thinking about this: this is worse than disgusting. It’s *outrageous*. Simply to entertain the *concept* of chicken hawk on Blogcritics is now forbidden. Somebody — Dave? — has written a piece of code which automatically kills any post containing that word. Unbelievable. Friends, this is how Castro operates; it’s what we expect of the Chinese government; it is not appropriate to a public forum on the web.

    You can get offended all you like when someone points out this administration’s egregious hypocrisy when it comes to actually serving; but to *censor the word which captures that hypocrisy* is absolutely scandalous.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    DAC, speak with Chris Rose if you think it’s such an “important argument.”

    From what I’ve gathered, the consensus among editors is that “argument” is simply used to deviate from intelligent and provocative discourse about important subjects, especially one as important as war. It drives a spike between opposing viewpoints. It’s detrimental to debate. Simply, it may be a passionate statement, but it’s equally immature.

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    Douglas, the blocking of certain words is a legitimate technique to protect the site and it’s certainly not censorship, at least as far as I know! Many seemingly innocuous words get added to the stopword list for spam prevention purposes.

    Coincidentally, I tried to use the same word in a comment earlier today and had exactly the same problem; took me ages to work out what the cause was!

    I fail to see any importance at all to the argument the word represents though.

  • gonzo marx

    well now..i must disagree

    it’s just as valid a statement as any other discussion of character…

    you remember that, the bit topic in the 2000 election

    character and “moral values”

    while you might note that i have nver used the phrase myself, and will not miss it

    i HAVE used the concept in discussion for various reasons

    sorry to say it, but i call bullshit on the censorship

    nuff said?

    Excelsior!

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    The argument that it is necessary to have done something personally before ordering others to do it seems fraught with obvious flaws to me.

    Anyone want to try and justify this perspective?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    As I indicated, it wasn’t until today that I learned the word had been added to the stoplist, when I wanted to use it myself.

  • gonzo marx

    now Christopher…who is speaking of the particulars of the Argument?

    we are speaking about a single descriptive word

    like i said…i can live without it, cuz i will just use verbal longhand

    but i still think it’s bullshit to censor a word on a political forum

    how about we get rid of “pinko” too…maybe “hippy”

    neither of those progress intellectual discourse

    your mileage may vary

    Excelsior!

  • gonzo marx

    oh yes, and let us not forget the ever favorite…

    moonbat

    do i need to go on?

    Excelsior!

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Look. This is rank censorship, pure and simple. It is an effort to stifle a *particular point of view.* I note that the same post had the words “fascist” and “loon” in it — both very much personal attacks against LaRouche, and words which could be used to attack anyone on Blogcritics directly — but these were not on the stoplist. No, the word which is not permitted is one that represents a position — a hugely defensible position, based upon impeccable facts — which somebody on this board doesn’t like.

    If I call someone *here* a chickenhaulk (notice the many ways around this stoplist), then yes — remove the post. But to censor the word itself is an attempt to prevent people from engaging in a particularly embarrassing and accurate critique of this administration. You might as well put the word “Abramoff” on the stoplist.

    This is a scandal.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Would you work yourself up into as big a frenzy if you wanted to write about c-a-s-i-n-o-s?

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    Matthew, words placed on the stoplist to prevent spam are *not* comparable to words placed there to prevent dissent.

    This really is appalling. In fact, I intend to write a piece about it — and if it gets censored on Blogcritics, I’ll post it on Kos.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I’ve had a lot of caffiene too, pal.

    Take it easy, we’ll figure this thing out.

  • http://alito larry

    can anyone explain filibuster procedures to the readers ?

  • http://alienboysworld.blogspot.com/ Christopher Rose

    I’ve already explained that I’m unaware of how or by whom the word was stopped. Maybe someone will stop by and tell us…

    Douglas, as you’ve already pointed out, there are millions of ways to get around this. That’s why I don’t favour the use of stopwords at all. I am also a little confused by your assertion that it’s okay to delete an entire comment but not censor it.

    For the record, I’d like to state that I haven’t blocked any words or any body EVER and would only do so as a very last resort. Mind you, pointless namecalling like this whole laughable hawk/chicken thing is truly lameness of braincurling proportions and doesn’t translate outside of the uniquely distorted microcosm of US politics at all. If it was banned, it ought to be for crimes against intelligence!

    I prefer that there should be a respected code of conduct that people voluntarily agree with. That would however require a greater level of commitment to honesty and openness than many seem prepared to countenance currently.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    “Simply to entertain the *concept* of chicken hawk on Blogcritics is now forbidden.” — from a comment on Blogcritics. Oh, the irony!

    IIRC, that was added as a spam stopword, not to crush dissent. You can obviously continue to discuss the concept by inserting a space (chicken hawk) or hyphen (chicken-hawk would be more grammatically correct anyway) or whatever, so carry on.

    I personally think that the work is overused and misused to the point of stupidity, but I wouldn’t ban the word on that basis. I’d just ignore anyone using the word perjoratively as generally unworthy of consideration.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    “to deviate from intelligent and provocative discourse about important subjects”

    Of course, Matthew, because the site wants more mature comments like #2:

    “So, Democrats: Do please pull your wee-wees out and start masturbating in public until you blow a big load over your silly dystopian fantasies.”

    I think that was paraphrased from Kant’s “Critique of Practical Reason.”

    Is the site going to ban other words or just the ones that editors resemble, I mean, don’t like.

    DAC and others, just use ChickenNalle and you’ll get the point across.

  • Howard

    According to the NH Gazette:

    Chickenhawk–A person enthusiastic about war, provided someone else fights it; particularly when that enthusiasm is undimmed by personal experience with war; most emphatically when that lack of experience came in spite of ample opportunity in that person’s youth.

    Their motto is not “LIVE FREE OR DIE”.

    It’s “BORN TO KILL”.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Yes, IgnatiusReilly, bravo. You pointed out an immature and pointless statement from the right. It’s everywhere. So are we on the same page?

    The sooner all sides — left, right, middle, me, you — realize they can be really fucking immature once in a while, the better.

    And DAC, you got your factual answer from Phillip. It seems to be for spam reasons.

    BC editors are very open when it comes to our policy making, or why something is the way it us. Ask us something, we’ll tell you.

  • gonzo marx

    ok..spam purposes?

    Bog and JuJu knows i hate spam…but you are trying to tell me folks are spamming “chicken-hawk” all over the site?

    only one even close to that to my knowledge might possible be MCH…and tho it IS a big part of his conversation, i would hardly call it spam

    mebbe there is something i’ve missed

    no worries..

    Phillip and Christopher, thanks for the Answers..

    Excelsior!

  • http://adamantsun.blogspot.com Steve S

    the cries of censorship and scandal are silly. Websites are personally owned and it’s just as much censorship as if I forbid you from saying such a word in my own home.

    I’m not an editor and have no say in what words are forbidden but have noticed a few other words that are banned too, in the other topics that I usually engage in (not war). Big deal, I just don’t use them, there are other words that suffice.

    Back when the Iraq war started and for about a year after that, the word chicken hawk was used constantly to attack people here on this site, who were for the war but were not serving. (again for the record, I’m not defending that side, even as a liberal the use of that word was really turning me and ‘our side’ off. It just was overused as an attack).

    ANyway, that word has been used ad nauseum to the point that the people who were using it were no longer making any point whatsoever, but were simply shouting.

    I would imagine that if loon was used 1,000 times per day for months on end to attack a political side, it would probably be banned too.

  • IgnatiusReilly

    spam purposes? that would explain why I can’t post my url where I sell videos of “chicken-hawks gone wild”. “Congressional Recess” is very popular title for inquiring minds.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Howard: Is there a consensus among veterans as to what they think about preemptive wars? Has there been a scientific poll?

    Yes, there have been a number of ‘scientific’ polls of veterans in general on the Iraq war. I refer you to one by CBS News which asked these questions of Veterans:

    Do you think the United States made a mistake getting involved in the current war with Iraq, or not?

    Made a mistake General Pop: 50 Veterans: 46
    Did not make a mistake General Pop: 46 Veternas: 51

    Do you think the result of the war with Iraq was worth the loss of American life and other costs of attacking Iraq, or not worth it? Worth it General Pop: 33 Veterans: 40
    Not worth it General Pop: 60 Veterans: 55

    There are a number of other questions in this poll, but the general trend is similar. When it comes to the war in Iraq veterans tend to be more positive than the general public about the need for the war and how the war is going. Even when they are dissatisfied with an aspect of the war their dissatisfaction is less than in the general population.

    This is born out consistently in other polls. For example, in the last election Rasmussen had Bush outpolling Kerry 60% to 33% among Veterans.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    As for the banned word, the actual banning has done nothing to stop the use of it since there are many easy permutations. Philip can certainly unban it and it would make no difference. Might have been cool to see people try to express the same thought creatively, but clearly that’s not going to happen.

    But under the comments policy, here is the logical test. Give me an example of how you could use that word (not referring to an actual bird) in a sentence and have it NOT be a personal insult.

    Dave

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    can anyone explain filibuster procedures to the readers ?

    Ooh, a return to the actual topic. Basically, the idea of a filibuster is that Senators get up and talk endlessly and refuse to yield the floor to anyone but others who are also going to filibuster. Then they go on and on, monopolizing the business of the senate so that no votes can actually be held. It takes advantage of a procedural rule which has no recognized constitutional status. It can also be pretty amusing when a half-bagged Teddy Kennedy starts reading his favorite novel into the Congressional Record.

    Dave

  • Howard

    Nothing our government does is more important than going to war.

    No one is more important in government than those who take us into war.

    Therefore, nothing is more important than having leaders who take us into war only as a last resort.

    The following is quoted from the book “Nuremberg Diaries”, written by G.M. Gilbert, in which the author interviews Hermann Goering.

    Goering said “But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.

    “There is one difference,” Gilbert pointed out. “In a democracy the people have some say in the matter through their elected representatives, and in the United States only Congress can declare wars.”

    Goering replied, “Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.”

    [Duplicate text deleted for clarity. Comments Editor]

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    A few notes:

    Nice sane response from the Management. Thank you. Although please, let’s not pretend that this is a spam issue — I like to think I’m on every spam list in Christendom, and I’ve never received anything with that word in it.

    St. Ignatius rightly points out that the true ad hominem attacks in this thread have been far more egregious than anyone’s use of that word. I never once aimed the hen/raptor word at a member of Blogcritics (and I would not) — it’s an attack upon the *administration.*

    Steve, to be precise: no, this is not strictly speaking censorship. That term should properly be restricted to *state* restrictions upon freedom of speech, as in the government’s current efforts to silence climatologists at NASA. That said, the word “scandal” stands nicely for the analogous urge on a public website devoted to political debate.

    Believe me, I’m not oversensitive. It was kind of fun to see my post tagged immediately as “a bunch of paranoid pinko nonsense.” I’m serious: I get a kick out of this rhetoric. (Since I’m the most virulent anti-Marxist I know, it’s refreshing to be called a pinko every once in a while.)

    My reaction is the opposite of thin-skinned, PC umbrage — I strongly believe that unpleasant arguments should be worded with ruthless accuracy. And repeated, even if they annoy — *especially* if they annoy. Euphemism and polite avoidance are anathema to political debate.

    Hence the Job-like cosmic rage.

    But back to the topic at hand. Larry’s apparently simple request deserves a response: “Can anyone explain filibuster procedures to the readers?”

    Turns out the answer is surprisingly complex. Even defining what a filibuster *is*, proves difficult — Senator Byrd, the most knowledgeable guy when it comes to Senate arcana, says merely that “he knows one when he sees one.”

    For instance: Scott McLellan implied (one of his subtle lies) that Kerry was breaking the House rules by entering into a filibuster before securing the requisite number of votes. Absolute garbage, as every thwarted filibuster demonstrates, but that doesn’t mean I could tell you *why* it’s incorrect. Where is this stuff written?

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    (Dave beat me to it, Larry-wise.)

  • Howard

    Dave: “Yes, there have been a number of ‘scientific’ polls of veterans in general on the Iraq war. I refer you to one by CBS News which asked these questions of Veterans”

    Dave, that poll was done almost two years ago. That poll is at least 100 times more stale than the news in yesterday’s newspaper.

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    It is over. Alito shall be an Associate Justice. Hopefully he will hold dear the Constitution and leave his loyalties to the conservative right wing out of jurisprudence. If he fails, then the electorate can invoke their wrath upon incumbents in Congress. The die has been cast, the revolution must begin.

  • Howard

    Silas, tighten your straightjacket and restrain yourself until you feel better.

  • Dave Nalle

    Sorry, Howard, all the polls I can find are from right around the election. Apparently the pollsters are interested in other topics right now. Polls specifically differentiating the opinions of veterans and the general public are a pretty specialized kind of poll. I have no reason to believe that the indicated trend has changed since that poll was taken 15 moinths ago, though.

    Dave

  • Howard

    Dave

    15 months is low.

    For what it’s worthy, it’s closer to 20 or 21 months.

    CBS NEWS POLL
    Veterans’ Views on Election 2004 & The Iraq War
    May 20-23, 2004

  • Howard

    I think a lot of people have changed their minds on the Iraq war in the past year and a half.

  • http://filibuster larry

    two good descriptions of filibuster. very amusing quote from Sen Byrd, i have always admired him. teddy kennedy,not! thanks guys

  • http://biggesttent.blogspot.com/ Silas Kain

    Sorry, Howard, American complacency is killing us. The neocons can blame it on the gays. The liberals can blame it on the Christian Right but the bottom line is all Americans who are not taking part in exercising their electoral voice are to blame. We’re ripe for Civil War — at the polls. And, if we fail to start sending a strong response to elected officials, then one must wonder if a violent Civil War is next.

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Byrd may know a filibuster when he sees one, but today he announced that rather than filibuster he’s going to vote FOR Alito. Amusing.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I wish there were something that could be done to force lazy, stupid, or indifferent Americans to the polls to vote. Perhaps a law that those who fail to vote 3 times in a row lose their licenses – or better, lose their cell phones. I wouldn’t dare make it lose their right to vote, because they wouldn’t care, the sots.

  • Justin Berry

    Too Late. 58-42 maybe next time.

  • MCH

    “The argument that it is necessary to have done something personally before ordering others to do it seems fraught with obvious flaws to me.”

    So you’d ask someone else to do something you wouldn’t do yourself? So you don’t believe actions speak louder than words? So you don’t think leading by example makes the best leaders? So you don’t believe in putting your money where your mouth is? So you don’t believe in walking the walk before talking the talk? So do you advocate “Do as I say, not as I do”…?

  • Justin Berry

    You are correct MCH. I think we should elect AAAAnold. He could never order someone to do something he hasnt done. We have video footage of all his heroics. Unimpeachable evidence that he has served in wars both past, present, and future.

    We would have to change that silly law though. nevermind that takes too much energy that congress just cant spare at this time.

  • GW

    Nancy offers:
    “Perhaps a law that those who fail to vote 3 times in a row lose their licenses – or better, lose their cell phones.”

    Not enough.

    I say, “hang the bastards”.

  • Paul

    Justin,
    nice one about Arnold. He would do well to lead this country in WWIII since he has already fought in it. As for Congress getting up the energy to change a law, they can’t even get the energy to do an actual filibuster any more. They need to make their lazy butts talk through the entire filibuster if they want to have one.

  • Howard

    When this country gets to the point where it has to rely on Arnold to save it, it is clear that we have become a bunch of fantasy-minded fools.

  • RogerMDillon

    “I wish there were something that could be done to force…stupid…Americans to the polls to vote”

    We have enough stupid Americans voting. Don’t you see who is running the country?

  • sr

    Roger #143. How do you get stupid American’s to vote. Turn off Jerry Springer. Just wish congradulations to Sam the Man. Sleep well ya-all. Lot of toe biteing amoung lib’s tonight. sr.

  • RogerMDillon

    “How do you get stupid American’s to vote.”

    Lie to them. It works every time.

  • gregb

    freedom of speech will allow the repub party to control this great country for the many years to come. left wingers such as yourself need more of a platform to vent, or just talk because dems overall ideas and morals do not allign with most americans. you liberals can gripe and complain all you want but unless you are on stage in a east coast or west coast city ( san fran ) nobody freakin cares! this is not the 60s and we are not drinking electric koolade on the corner listing to some drugged out pathetic loosers jam on their rattles. dems want to keep poor citizens poor cause if they ever get rich they will vote repub to save money at least! dems are polluting this country and americans overall know it. youre heroes are cindy sheean, ted kenedy, bill and hillary clinton, sean penn, howard dean, jesse jackson and his rainbow coalition. lets analyze, a woman on prozac who relates to a drunkin murderer who worships a man who let bin laden live that is married to a woman who is accepts a cheating husband@ a failed health plan who is friends with a actor who vocalized support for the baath regime who befriended and campaigned for a presidential canidate who ran around and screamed (literally) that he loved every derranged part of our society who along with all of the others is a companion to a man @ a organization who profit off of racism, lies, and the use of minorities@ the poor as puppets! you and all of youre fellow tree huggin, hippie lettuce smoking (cancer,ha,ha) left wingers can all go back and listin to youre grateful dead albums and kill some more brain cells and wish you could get away with spitting on all of us soldiers again (if only it were pc)cause youre a joke!!!!!!!! yours truely Greg Byrd south euclid resident age 29

  • greg byrd

    sorry to all of you left wingers, im not done yet. i would almost guarantee that if you took a poll on what political party most springer viewers affiliate with it would be the dem party cause their watching the show during the day and not working, plus springer is a dem who toyed in running for youre party.he would fit right in with you iddiots! hey did all you liberal woman out there remember to take youre morn after pill yet and kill some more human babies. after all its cheaper than the shop vac and does the same thing! oh yeah, i remember, sorry i forgot, its youre body. i forgot that you concieved alone by yourselves and fathers shouldnt have a say in the murder of their child. i remember they are only good for paying child support, thats the only time they should be considered fathers, right? equal rights, i forgot

  • http://www.dysblog.blogspot.com Douglas Anthony Cooper

    29 years old? Hm. I really think you should try to curb that kind of run-on sentence once you get past your teens. At 15 it looks like youthful exuberance; at 29 it speaks of, well, insanity.

    Just sayin’.

  • greg byrd

    this is the internet, not a speech writing class.

  • greg byrd

    insanity is more akin to youre leftist ideology sir. insanity is pulling my fellow troops out of iraq so it can be overrun by terrorists who would be sitting on billions of dollars of oil and a propaganda goldmine similar to the soviet withdraw from afghanistan. fight the americans and they will run, right? you might be happy then cause you could go and chain yourself to a palmtree in say sadr city because the local donkey peasant wagon knocked down the one next to it.

  • Bing

    It’s too bad for the Dems that they couldn’t get more convicted felons and dead people to vote for them in last year’s election.

  • Bing

    Oh I forgot to add…………Alito has beeen a justice for 24 hours now and America hasn’t fallen apart yet.

  • gonzo marx

    give it time Bing…

    we will see how it plays out

    Excelsior?

  • RogerMDillon

    fos, bill’s not my hero nor did I ever vote for him, but I understand you get upset to think that Bush lied to you. Here’s a secret: both parties do it. Does it also bother you that Santa isn’t real?

    Please concern yourself with others because you won’t get no intelligents(sp) from me. Stick with the brain trust of Bing and Greg, who it looks like has already destroyed all his brain cells that involve writing. For your next feeble insult, remember that Radical Islam is against homosexuality.

    “It’s too bad for the Dems that they couldn’t get more convicted felons and dead people to vote for them in last year’s election.”

    Well, Bing, if they could get a company to fix the voting machines, they wouldn’t have to.

  • fos

    Roger, Radical Islam is against homosexuality. Thats why I said #1 on the hit list. Are we in tune or not? Of course Santa’s real you fool. What a Grinch. I will work on my next feeble insult. Thanks for the compliment tater tot.

  • RogerMDillon

    “Thats why I said #1 on the hit list.”

    You are out of tune and unaware once again. Reread your previous statement. No mention of “hit”.

  • Paul

    I think polls in generel are a bunch of BS. They are not an accurate reflection of how the country as a whole feels on a particular subject. I have never taken part in one of these polls nor do know anyone else who has. I definitely would NOT rely on a political poll from CBS(the Communist Broadcast System).

    Santa is not real?!!*crumbles up Christmas list*

  • Paul

    I’m sorry if I offended anyone by calling it a Christmas list. I guess I should have used “Xmas” or “holiday” instead.